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PC Games On the Rebound

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the moving-on-up dept.

PC Games (Games) 179

Via The Escapist, an article on the New York Times website discussing the rebirth of the PC games industry. The piece talks about the bright-looking future for titles on the PC, citing the platform's ease and speed of development and Microsoft's 'Games for Windows' initiative as points in its favour. Mass-market PC maker adoption of the hardcore gaming market is also discussed, with financials being the main thrust of the article. That focus is a double edged sword, given the obvious comparison to console games: "The upsurge comes after some recent reversals. Over all, retail sales of PC-based games in the United States exceeded $970 million in 2006, an increase of about 1 percent of sales the previous year of $953 million, which represented about a 14 percent drop from $1.1 billion in 2004. By contrast, according to the NPD Group, retail sales for console games in 2006 were $4.8 billion; another $1.7 billion was spent on games for hand-held devices like Sony's PlayStation Portable."

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Games ONLY for Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18842961)

I'm sick of them.

Re:Games ONLY for Windows (1)

xebra (140155) | more than 7 years ago | (#18842989)

Well, it's not called "Games for Linux" for a reason. But I suppose you can hate Microsoft for any reason, really, even for being honest.

Not Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843003)

Not surprising when you consider that a PS3 combined with a handful of games will cost you almost as much as a midrange gaming PC.

Re:Not Surprising (2, Funny)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843181)

Not surprising when you consider that a PS3 more than a a midrange gaming PC.


Normally I hate the "fixed" style replies, but...

fixed.

Nice work there (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843407)

Um, I hate to tell you this, but...

WoW (5, Insightful)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843015)

Over all, retail sales of PC-based games in the United States exceeded $970 million in 2006, an increase of about 1 percent of sales the previous year of $953 million, which represented about a 14 percent drop from $1.1 billion in 2004.
World of Warcraft was released in 2004. The first expansion was released in 2007. What do you want to bet that the there will be another spike in sales for the 2007 figures?

Re:WoW (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843577)

WOW did not start out as the massive success that it is today. Additionally, most WOW accounts are outside of the United States. While WOW had an impressive launch, it wasn't released until near the end of the year. And lastly, WOW subscriptions and online sales would not be included in NPD sales numbers. My point is that the mere launch of WOW doesn't account for the $1.5 billion difference between 2004 and 2005.

There are a lot more factors at stake here. Things like online distribution are not being accounted for as the industry shifts more and more in that direction. Also, competition from consoles comes and goes depending on where they are at in their life cycle. For some reason, people like to point to WOW to explain almost any changes in the PC gaming market, but there are a lot more forces at work here than simply one game.

Re:WoW (1)

Radres (776901) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843757)

I seem to remember WOW selling out worldwide when it launched. There was a waiting list to even get a copy of the game.

Re:WoW (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843881)

No, it was released in Europe only in 2005 and in parts of Asia over 2005 and even 2006. There were AFAIK no problems getting hold of the original game at release or of the expansion at least in my area (Quebec). Collector's Editions were an issue, but not very relevant. I DO remember a surge in sales and lack of game boxes at the beginning of 2005, but not at release in Nov 2004.

Re:WoW (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844039)

I distinctly recall there being a shortage of copies at release, at least in the US. It was common practice for my group of friends, and for the people in my major, to buy a copy if you found one, even if you didn't need it. It took several weeks for everyone who wanted a copy to get one.

Re:WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18844295)

off topic
if you meant with your sig: "Did you enjoy translating my sig",
then I'd use "Genoot u van het vertalen van mijn handtekening?"

Re:WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18844583)

Sweet, thanks! I kind of figured Babelfish would mess something up in there

Re:WoW (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844253)

Oh it certainly sold a lot of copies, broke records even. But it didn't sell the 8 million copies that are out there right now before the end of '04. At most it sold around 1 million copies between its Nov. 23rd release and the end of the year. That's about $50 million of revenue, about 3-4 times short of the difference between 2004's PC game sales and 2005's PC game sales. In fact more copies of WOW have been sold in 2005 and 2006 than were sold in 2004, yet PC game sales are still far below 2004's $1.1 billion. There's a lot more at work in this market than just WOW.

Re:WoW (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844315)

Actually, I just checked some figures. WOW's worldwide sales for 2004 were approximately 700,000 units, that's only $35 million in revenue for 2004, again a far cry short of the $150 million difference between PC game sales for 2004 and 2005.

Re:WoW (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 7 years ago | (#18845223)

Maybe WoW is responsible for the difference in numbers.
It could be that people bought WoW and didn't buy another five different games that year, games that they might have bought if they weren't still playing WoW.

Re:WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18844411)

NPD numbers are scaled to reflect the portion of the market they don't have direct data for. And online sales only make up a small portion of overall sales so having that data wouldn't alter NPD's estimates by much.

your numbers are off (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844741)

"$1.5 billion difference between 2004 and 2005"

From the summary:

"Over all, retail sales of PC-based games in the United States exceeded $970 million in 2006, an increase of about 1 percent of sales the previous year of $953 million, which represented about a 14 percent drop from $1.1 billion in 2004."

So you have:

2004: $1.1 billion
2005: $953 million
2006: $970 million

Re:your numbers are off (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844909)

sorry, I put the decimal point in the wrong place. I meant .15 billion.

Re:WoW (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844599)

Yeah I'm sure Half-Life 2 and Doom 3 coming out in '04 had no impact either. I mean WoW was pretty popular from the start, but they didn't get 8 million+ subscribers in the 1.5 months of release in '04.

I dare to disagree (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843023)

Actually, I predict procrastination and/or a desaster.

With DX10 for Vista only, and Vista not being the hot cake MS wanted it to be, studios are sitting between chairs now. Develop for Vista and DX10, and risk not selling much 'cause people refuse to upgrade (erh, downgrade) just for a game? Or develop for XP and DX9 and suffer bad reviews for using "old tech"?

Honestly, I could not make a qualified decision now if I was in the exec's chair of a game studio.

Re:I dare to disagree (5, Insightful)

Joe U (443617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843071)

Or develop for both DX9 and DX10, like Flight Simulator.

Re:I dare to disagree (1)

Lord Crc (151920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843377)

Or develop for both DX9 and DX10, like Flight Simulator.

Indeed, just like several other games have a DX8 and a DX9 rendering path (STALKER, FEAR, WoW and many others).

Flight Simulator X Service Pack 1 (2, Informative)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843693)

The current FS X is DX9 only. DX10 rendering is part of the first service pack, which is not due out until fall 2007.

Re:I dare to disagree (2, Insightful)

DCastagna (959843) | more than 7 years ago | (#18845539)

Why not OpenGL?

Re:I dare to disagree (0, Troll)

deinol (210478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843195)

No results found for desaster.

Did you mean disaster (in dictionary)?

Re:I dare to disagree (4, Insightful)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843331)

Why not just develop for OpenGL?

Re:I dare to disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843487)

Where's the vendor lock-in in that? I refuse to develop/use anything unless it will get me further locked in and completely at the mercy of Microsoft!

Re:I dare to disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843553)

Why is it that whenever someone mentions DX10, some goof always has to ask "why not just use OpenGL?"

Here's a hint: DirectX handles A LOT more than just 3D graphics.

Re:I dare to disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843749)

How about using SDL instead?

Re:I dare to disagree (1)

Radres (776901) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843791)

The main upgrades in DX10 have to do with 3D graphics. You can use OpenGL + DX9 for everything else. I doubt you'll be able to access the advanced features in OpenGL that rely on DX10, though.

Re:I dare to disagree (2, Informative)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843885)

I doubt you'll be able to access the advanced features in OpenGL that rely on DX10, though.

Yeah, you can. OpenGL extensions are already available [nvidia.com] .

Parent makes an excellent point (1)

woodhouse (625329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18845173)

The extension mechanism is the single biggest advantage OpenGL has over D3D. Graphics chip vendors are able to expose new features through the extensions independently of Microsoft's (or anyone else's) release schedules.

Right now the only way to access advanced features such as geometry shaders on an XP system is via OpenGL.

Re:I dare to disagree (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843873)

It does, but the graphics bit is the hardest. Here are some of the other things DirectX handles:
  • Sound. Pretty important. You can go OpenAL here if you want (and it's the only way of getting accelerated sound on Vista, since it doesn't accelerate DirectX audio), or you can stick with DirectX 9 and still have it work on XP and Vista.
  • Networking. DirectPlay has come a long way, but I'm not sure how many games actually use it. If you want, Apple have released a(n open, cross-platform) replacement, but I think most big game houses roll their own networking code.
  • Media. You could use QuickTime, but it's a huge pain to develop with compared to DirectShow (or whatever it's called these days). On the other hand, you can once again stick with the older API and not have any problems.
  • Input. DirectX does well here, but this is a very small part of the codebase of your average game. Most companies will use some custom middleware that will handle it on their supported platforms, using DirectX or whatever else is available on the back end.
The biggest improvements DirectX 10 brings to the table are in graphics. You could probably write most of a game using DirectX 6, and just use the latest APIs for graphics, and few people would notice. Sticking with DirectX 9 for everything except the graphics isn't really a hardship for most people, especially since they've just spent the last few years developing tools to work with DirectX 9.

Re:I dare to disagree (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18845843)

Generally, yes, though I disagree with DirectPlay. It has one HUGE disadvantage: You can't create a server for Linux without rewriting the code comletely, while it's fairly easy if you rely on standard BSD sockets, since they work on any NT kernel and linux almost without any changes.

Re:I dare to disagree (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843967)

Maybe because most "goofs" are actually talking about Direct3D when they mention DirectX. Many people who think "OpenGL as opposed to DirectX" are actually talking about the FLOSS path of doing stuff which usually includes SDL+OpenGL+OpenAL.

Here's a hint: DirectX does NOT A LOT more than 3D graphics. At least for games Direct3D is the only component of DirectX that's important (directinput is dead with SDL as an free/open alternative and directsound is dead with OpenAL as an free/open alternative...)

Re:I dare to disagree (0)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844223)

What exactly would OpenGL provide that you can't get with DirectX9?

Re:I dare to disagree (1)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844379)

For one, there's the potential to run the game on Linux - see Unreal Tournament 2004.

Re:I dare to disagree (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18845629)

What exactly would OpenGL provide that you can't get with DirectX9?
Direct3D 10 features.

Re:I dare to disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843349)

You do realize that for the next couple of years all new games will be likely work with BOTH DX10 and DX9, right?

It's not a very hard thing to do. Running it with DX10 will just allow more advanced settings to be enabled. It's not like developing for DX10 is radically different than developing for DX9. DX10 just has extra features that don't have to be used.

Re:I dare to disagree (1)

LoofWaffle (976969) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843593)

Actually, I thought DX10 was completely revamped to drop all legacy code, hence it working only with Vista. Seems to me that development would be "radically different" between the platforms.

Re:I dare to disagree (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18845875)

"Radically" would maybe be a bit too strong a word, but looking at the differences made me realize that I will not switch to coding in DX10 for a long, long, long time.

At the very least as long as I can avoid it.

Re:I dare to disagree (3, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843455)

There are only 2 options that make sense from a business perspective. Make the game run in both DX9 and DX10. Or go with DX9 because that is the lagest install base. Going with DX10 only would be a huge mistake and it would cost you a lot of money. For example, World of Warcraft isn't the most graphically amazing MMO out there by a long shot. But because it can run on older hardware, they have many more subscribers. If they made World of Starcraft DX10 only, it would die a horrible death. There will always be ids and other game companies that push the graphical edge...but right now it doesn't make sense from a business perspective. Most gamers know that XP runs games better. Until Vista can beat XP, no one in there right mind is going to touch it.

Third option (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18845347)

Develop for DX9 using something like the Unreal 2 engine (great graphics that even exceed TES 4: Oblivion if you throw in Speedtree) and an awesome, nonlinear story line.

IOW if you do a Deus Ex or a Morrowind in the same game engine that brought us Unreal Tournament 2004 and you don't make it a simple knockoff of said titles, but an original, deep game with action and RPG elements, you can moon the reviewers and make them get down and lick it because all the PC gamers will be beating down the doors for your game.

Beyond UT2004's level, graphics are overrated until you reach super-realistic (Speedtree, for instance) graphics and super realistic animations. What you'll need to compete now is a highly superior and addictive gaming experience. And really well made expansion packs.

"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (5, Interesting)

Murrdox (601048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843079)

I'm very upset over the MS "Games for Windows" initiative.

"Games for Windows" is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

What it pretends to be is Microsoft trying to improve the PC gaming scene. Make game system requirements more legible to the non-geek, increase compatibility, better market PC games, etc.

However, what it REALLY is, is Microsoft using their complete dominance of the PC game market to extend that dominance to the console. They're using their PC Monopoly to leverage the X-Box, and X-Box Live. The end result will be to get PC Gamers to pay extra for content they get for free now, just like console players are doing on X-Box Live.

A requirement for a game to be branded a "Game for Windows" is that it is compatible with an X-Box 360 Controller. Need I say more? They're pushing for all PC games to also be X-Box 360 Games. If the PC Game is also an X-Box game, then it can use X-Box Live. If it can use X-Box Live, they can figure out a way to release content for it in micro-payments, and nickel and dime us to death on games that we used to get updated content for free on.

Considering the fact that Sony and Nintendo are incapable of competing with Microsoft on this initiative... I'm really surprised no one at the Justice Department has taken notice. It's blatant leveraging of a monopoly if you ask me. I don't see how it's legal.

And I don't see PC games as dying. They're not going anywhere. There might be a little less of them than there used to be... but 50% of the console games that come out nowadays are complete crap. I'd say only about 20% of the PC games that come out nowadays are crap. Those numbers come right out of my butt, of course. I'm willing to deal with better quality and less quantity on the PC.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (3, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843209)

A requirement for a game to be branded a "Game for Windows" is that it is compatible with an X-Box 360 Controller.

Really? How do I play Company of Heroes with that gamepad, then?

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843241)

with difficulty.

besides, its not the first rts which has appeared on a console you know, i remember playing red alert 1 on my ps1 at one point. Not sure if that was the first, but its certainly possible ( if rather annoying ) to play them on gamepad

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

xsarpedonx (707167) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843235)

I'd like a branding of "Not a Game for Windows". Developing a PC game with all the limitations of a console tends to be a bad thing in most cases, a la Deus Ex Invisible War.

"Games for Windows" = no monopoly push. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843271)

"However, what it REALLY is, is Microsoft using their complete dominance of the PC game market to extend that dominance to the console."

I'm sorry but Microsoft doesn't have COMPLETE dominance in the PC game market, no matter how much Ballmer whispers in your ear at night.

"Considering the fact that Sony and Nintendo are incapable of competing with Microsoft on this initiative."

They're not incapable, they're just not interested.

Re:"Games for Windows" = no monopoly push. (1)

Murrdox (601048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843745)

Sony and Nintendo don't have any leverage over the PC, Windows, or PC Games.

I suppose Sony and Nintendo could make products for the PC that make use of things like the "Miis" for the Wii, and the "Second Life" type clone that Sony is creating for the PS3 (what is it called? "Home"? I forget, sorry)

However, since there are no Nintendo or Sony games on the PC, I don't really see the point. In order to compete with MS on this front, Sony and Nintendo would need to start making PC games. They COULD do this, but it's not really practical for them. To me, that makes them incapable of competing.

Re:"Games for Windows" = no monopoly push. (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844349)

They COULD do this, but it's not really practical for them. To me, that makes them incapable of competing.
Sony has "Station.com"

Re:"Games for Windows" = no monopoly push. (2, Funny)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18845527)

However, since there are no Nintendo or Sony games on the PC

My level 75 Rogue would like to have a chat with you. Preferably in a dark alley.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843299)

Have you used the 360 controller? It's not hard to make a PC game compatible with it, many come close already. If the PC world had to standardize around a reasonably cheap and reasonably well-designed normal controller, you could do much worse than standardizing around the 360 controller.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843423)

Dumbing down pc game to work with a controller sucks.
A mouse is a big thing that the x-box does not come with.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843887)

If the PC world had to standardize around a reasonably cheap and reasonably well-designed normal controller, you could do much worse than standardizing around the 360 controller.

Back in the early 90s the PC world DID standardize around a erasonably cheap and reasonably well-designed normal controller--the Gravis gamepad. Maybe I'm showing my age but I prefer the smaller olden days controller.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

snarfbot (1036906) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844195)

lol ya, and the gravis controller was what 10 bucks, thats cheap, 20 dollars is reasonably cheap, 40 dollars for a gamepad is absolutely not cheap.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (2, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844555)

Had one way back when (even remember the little screw in joystick you could put into the pad :)), but that couldn't really work out long term, and for one, very, very important reason: calibration. Just to put this into perspective for the youngins: back then when you started a pc game, you had to first move the joystick/gamepad to the upper left, and press the action button. Then to the lower right, and press it. Then center it, and press it. Then you could play the game. Sorta.

For a kid who also had an NES system, it sucked. Instead of a nice responsive system, you got characters who would move a little bit at a time even at neutral position. Or who would get stuck going on one direction. The calibration would eventually get out of whack, and you'd have to exit, restart the game, and recalibrate to play for another hour at most.

Back then I even went so far as to purchase a seperate ISA Gravis gamecard, complete with external speed adjustment dongle and everything, because they were supposed to hold calibration much better. Credit where credit is due, it was better than just a sound card gameport, but it still was not perfect.

Now, EVENTUALLY, they came out with digital gamepads (Gravis made one of these too). Far, far better, but the digital nature had trouble with many gameports. The USB gamepad was nothing short of amazing to anyone who remembered the aweful old analog gamepads, though it seems by the time they came along there was nothing left worth using a gamepad to play :(. All the 2d scrollers that could have been appropriate for it (Commander Keen, Crystal Caves, Megaman PC, etc) were all just memories by then.

Still, back then I did get decent and used to just using the keyboard to play instead. Computer games at the time generally were far cheaper than console games (certain clearanced ones, classics like Elite for example, I got for under $5), and so I don't look at that time completely negatively :).

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (4, Insightful)

Vexor (947598) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843381)

I'll admit the idea of using a xbox controller for a few games on the PC slightly appeals to me (flying games/racing). Nothing is ever going to replace a keyboard/mouse combo for a shooter game though....

Making a game controller compatible to get the "games for windows" tag is completely crap though. Windows == PC == Keyboard/Mouse. No way should a controller be a requirement.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843451)

One of the ideas they've trotted out is that of PC and XBox gamers competing. I'm not sure how that's going to work, as the average keyboard/mouse player will have a massive advantage over the average console player. I can imagine some sort of horrible handicapping system for the PC players, which doesn't sound like fun.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

Vexor (947598) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843773)

That's a excellent point. Though I bet we don't get a handicap. I think it'll end up being console players get some form of autoaim. Then again that's just the FPS genre. RTS games are far better on the PC as well. I really only think that consoles are best for driving games and the action/adventure genres (jak&daxter, devil may cry etc). Even then the PC still fares more then well.

There is also that issue that the PC has the potential for running all kinds of stuff in the background. Last thing we need is a bunch of counterstrike wall/speed hacks marring the consoles.

Prehaps someone could provide more info then I could on this but isn't the current system that 1 players xbox hosts the game. A lot of midrange PCs might run into CPU troubles with hosting and maintaining a 1/2way decent frame rate for whichever game.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (2, Insightful)

Manchot (847225) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843419)

Considering the fact that Sony and Nintendo are incapable of competing with Microsoft on this initiative... I'm really surprised no one at the Justice Department has taken notice. It's blatant leveraging of a monopoly if you ask me. I don't see how it's legal.

The current administration isn't interested in prosecuting monopolies who abuse their power. That's why Microsoft got off their guilty verdict so easy when Bush came into office. Hopefully our next president believes in a fair, competitive market.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843499)

While I'd love to see this as blatantly as you, I don't. Are they somehow forcing you to buy an XBox360? How exactly is this going to make them get a monopoly in the console market? How does this affect Sony or Nintendo?

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843547)

Your premise that MS has dominance over the PC game makert is false. Thus the rest of your reasoning is flawed. I don't see how you can think what they are doing is not legal. They are finding a model that makes money for everyone involved. Other companies and independants will still exist...so if you don't like what MS is doing, don't buy it. Nothing is going to change.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (2, Informative)

Murrdox (601048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843661)

You'll have to describe to me how my premise that MS has dominance over the PC game market is false.

Walk into a game store, and find for me the PC games that are made for other operating systems besides Windows. If you go into an Apple store, you'll find a few Mac versions of some games, but not much. Besides some educational titles, you won't find many Mac titles that aren't also on Windows.

It is not COMPLETE. You can find scattered games that are made for Mac. You can find scattered games for Linux. However, I'd say well over 95% of the PC games that are made (I'm talking about retail games here, not browser games) are for Windows. Some of these games are made with a second version for a Mac. Some make a Linux version.

If that's not dominating the market, you'll have to explain to me what is. You seem confident in your assertion that I'm wrong... but you don't really explain why. I'm interested to know.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

FingerDemon (638040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843909)

Well, a game made by a third party that runs on Windows doesn't make MS any money, in of itself. So that wouldn't be a case of Microsoft dominating the game market. But I'll let someone else argue about that.

My point is that you assume Microsoft's goal is to push Xbox. But lets not forget they have to protect Windows dominance itself. How many times do people post here that they use Linux for everything except games. Microsoft may not be blind to this trend (if it can even be called a trend). They may be hoping to slow complete conversion to Linux or Mac by reenergizing the PC gaming industry.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843979)

The computer game sections in stores are often misleading. True, a lot of games are Windows-only, but there are not very many Mac-only or Linux-only games. A lot of companies are doing what Blizzard does (put all versions of the game on the same CD in the same box). Take WOW for instance...you aren't going to find it in the Mac section, because the "Windows" boxed version has both Windows and Mac versions on the same CD. I think this makes a lot more sense than having separate "Mac-only" and "Linux-only" sections...most retailers don't have space for that. This does mean that people will have to look at the system requirements a lot more closely though, rather than walking to the Mac section and grabbing something. I do agree though, that "Games for Windows" is a very bad thing. Say WOW was certified for that...it would be in the "Games for Windows" section even though there is a Mac version. Sure the smarter people would just look at the requirements on the box, but what average person would think to look in that section for a Mac game? It wouldn't surprise me if M$ attempts to undermine that by making "Games for Windows" certification mean that there can't be any non-Windows versions included. But if they do, and say Blizzard doesn't get the cerfitication, where would they stock the game? This is just an example, I don't know if WOW has that certification or if Blizzard has any interest in it.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

calbanese (169547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844053)

There really aren't any antitrust violations going on in the games market, though. Microsoft doesn't lock anyone into developing solely for the Windows platform (as far as I know). If developers choose to release their games only for the platform with the most users, that really isn't Microsoft's fault. You can debate their OS monopoly, but here, they aren't using any anticompetitive measures to dominate the games market. Plus, from my understanding, all "Games for Windows" is is a way of ensuring that games meet specific standards, akin to what Underwriters Laboratory does (though obviously Microsoft has a much bigger interest in the products). While there is a benefit to Microsoft, it would be difficult for the DOJ, if they were so inclined, to find anticompetitive measures with this. The program appears to be completely voluntary, does not preclude anyone from developing for alternate platforms or incur negative consequences from Microsoft if they don't use Games for Windows.

What extra content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18844385)

You don't really get any "extra content" for free on the PC. Instead, you get less content and you have to buy an expansion pack for the rest. Micropayments for mini-updates just makes it easier to spend money instead of all at once.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (0, Troll)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844395)

However, what it REALLY is, is Microsoft using their complete dominance of the PC game market to extend that dominance to the console

That doesn't make sense to me. How does Windows as a gaming platform (which I rarely use) affect what I do with my 360? Why would the GfW program encourage people to buy a 360? Please - explain how MS intend to use their Windows market position to "extend that dominance to the console"?

The end result will be to get PC Gamers to pay extra for content they get for free now, just like console players are doing on X-Box Live.

So hang on, are they using GfW to take over the console space or Xbox to take over the PC space? Which is it? As for the "paying for extra content they get for free now" - which content exactly? I have to say from my limited Windows gaming experience I don't recall getting much free content other than patches. Want new levels? Buy an expansion pack, or the new version of the game. You see the same thing on XBL (e.g. recent Oblivion expansion). What you also see are small micro-payment upgrades, like additional characters, tracks, whatever. In my experience you generally don't see these at all on the PC as online purchasing is still pretty rare (Steam is fixing that) and distributing a retail box for a couple of new character models is not worthwhile.

A requirement for a game to be branded a "Game for Windows" is that it is compatible with an X-Box 360 Controller. Need I say more? They're pushing for all PC games to also be X-Box 360 Games.

Well first off, compatibility with the 360 controller is not a firm requirement, the way they word it implies that if you support any controllers, the 360 one should be one of them - but if you don't, no problem. Secondly, yes - of course they want to encourage games to come out on both platforms - why not? As a publisher I'd see that as very attractive, a larger potential audience for not much additional dev cost.

If the PC Game is also an X-Box game, then it can use X-Box Live. If it can use X-Box Live, they can figure out a way to release content for it in micro-payments, and nickel and dime us to death on games that we used to get updated content for free on.
Ahhh....back to that mysterious PC-only free content. Do elaborate...

Considering the fact that Sony and Nintendo are incapable of competing with Microsoft on this initiative... I'm really surprised no one at the Justice Department has taken notice. It's blatant leveraging of a monopoly if you ask me. I don't see how it's legal.

Well judging by sales figures Nintendo (and to a lesser extent Sony) seem to be doing a pretty good job of competing on their own terms. Couldn't Sony launch a rival "Sony Games for Windows" brand which requires PS3 network compatibility? Of course they could. Couldn't Nintendo launch a PC version of the Wii controller? And add a way of generating a Friend code for your PC? Of course they could. They could even make it cross platform and grab the nascent Linux gaming market share (ha!).

I really can't comprehend how this is a monopoly issue. My purchase (or otherwise) of a Microsoft games console has NOTHING to do with whether I have a PC running Windows or not. There's virtually no functionality on one which is linked to the other (just some media playback stuff). All that's happening is that they're adding some features to one platform which used to be exclusive to another. So I can now use Xbox Live from a PC, great - nothing says I HAVE to and nothing says I need (or would even benefit from) an Xbox to do it.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844523)

This much is clear. I expect the killer app will be Xbox Live on your PC - with these certified games. However this doesn't preclude the gaming scene as it stands. EA and others try to develop their own on-line arena.

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844981)

Well, an initiative from Microsoft isn't necessarily a wolf in sheeps clothing. It might be an alligator in sheeps clothing or a giant mutated spider in sheeps clothing. The main thing we know about it is that it will be some sort of predator that eats sheep.

Seriously, though, I think this is actually simpler than domination of consoles, where Microsoft has been behind for two generations now. I think Microsoft is refiguring out how important games are to keep Linux and OS X from encroaching on the PC market.

Microsoft had a standard PC joypad in the past, the Sidewinder, so I expect they are simply repurposing the XBox controller to this task. From their About Games for Windows Page [gamesforwindows.com] , "Games for Windows titles that support controllers are also compatible with the Microsoft XBOX 360 controller for Windows, including the XBOX 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows." So Dawn of War is safe for now, it's only games that use joypads that have to use the XBox joypad.

Yes, it's true, Microsoft would love to be able to sucker people into paying for each car in a PC racing game, but the PC is still an open platform compared to consoles. It will be up to the individual publishers to go along. (Mind you, I do know how screwed up Vista is, and how closed it is compared to previous PC OSs... it's still better than the locked down consoles from the big three...

Re:"Games for Windows" = MS Monopoly push (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18845039)

absolutely spot on analysis. There is of course nothing altruistic in MS's goals here. Its about money. It's not just microsoft though. There is a push for controlling content (which you supposed own) remotely through networks like Steam & xbox live, as well as MMORPG's and the like. Eventually you'll need to be logged in and verified before you can use the game. Sure games can be played offline.. for now, though the Steam client needs to be tweaked to allow LAN games offline. I own a 360 and there are some cool games I have downloaded and played, but overall the xbox live content (movies and stuff..)is dreadful, just give me the damn game and let me play online freely. Nope, its catering for the lowest common denominator and their 'convenience' which will be the excuse to get pennies out of everyone.
Of course there will be lemonheads who come out and support these networks as the awesome future, the same people who think rfid implants are just cool.

Valve episodic gaming? 3/4 the price for 1/5 the game..when is part 2 coming out?

More anti-MS nonsense (1)

stinkbomb (238228) | more than 7 years ago | (#18845079)

Way to spread the Anti-MS FUD.

Straight from the Games for Windows Requirements page [microsoft.com] :

"Games that support gamepad controllers must support the Xbox 360 Controller for Windows using the XInput API.
...
This requirement does not apply to games that only make use of the mouse and/or keyboard."

PC games *ARE* dying (1)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843229)

I was in Game yesterday looking for something new to play on my MacBook Pro with Windows XP Pro. Been playing Half Life 2 again and really enjoying it so I thought I would look for something similar. I was appalled at how small the PC game sections are in game shops these days. Worse though, they all seem to be strategy games which really aren't my thing. FPS on a console is worse than horrible so I wanted a PC FPS. Nothing I haven't already played and very little coming. The PC section was about the same size as the Gamecube section.

Looks like PC users won't even be able to hold Games up as the great reason to use Windows instead of OS X for much longer.

Re:PC games *ARE* dying (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843675)

I was in Game yesterday
I'm going to guess you meant to say "Gamestop?"

Yeh, most of the small-building places (EBGames/Gamestop, mom-and-pop shops, etc) carry very few PC games now-a-days. By me, EBGames/Gamestop are little more than pawn shops, half of their shelf space is dedicated to "used games" and the new-game-shelves are very shallow (1-2 copies of each game). Places like BestBuy still carry a lot of PC games, in fact the ones near me have almost equal shelf space for PC games as they do console games.

Personally, with few exceptions like C&C 3, I've been leaning towards the console end of things. It's just less of a hastle.

Re:PC games *ARE* dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843879)

Depends on where he lives.

Over in the UK the major games seller in the street is called Game. (game.co.uk if you want proof)

Re:PC games *ARE* dying (1)

Hamfist (311248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843905)

A quick browsing of online stores seems to indicate that the highest selling games and franchises (Warcraft, The Sims, Civilization) are available for Mac. I think one could reasonably say that only Hard Core PC gamers can still use that as a reason to not use a Mac. Now if only more were available for Linux then I'd be really happy.

Re:PC games *ARE* dying (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844043)

You must remember that PC games are increasingly becoming available by download. The last few games I've purchased I've downloaded (Steam Silver package and Battlefied 2142). With the emergence of Steam, EA Downloader and a direct download for WoW:TBC very little space is needed in stores for those titles. I assume that the majority of PC Gamers have a high speed connection and access to a CC or debit card. Large game developers like Valve, EA and Blizzard can save lots of costs selling directly to people than through retailers. This is a main reason why shelf space in a retail store isn't as big of an indicator of success as it used to be.

it's amazing consumers (1)

oldwarrior (463580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843329)

can't see that a console is just a PC with prebought video that the makers cripple to disallow you from doing what YOU want with the device, rather than restricting yourself and $$ to what THEY want. PC games expose the emporers shiny hiney - no clothes.

Re:it's amazing consumers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18843425)

can't see that a console is just a PC with prebought video that the makers cripple to disallow you from doing what YOU want with the device, rather than restricting yourself and $$ to what THEY want.
You're assuming that console users want to do something other than play games on it. For many (if not most) console gamers, this isn't the case. They just want to pop in a disk and have everything work.

Re:it's amazing consumers (1)

oldwarrior (463580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843539)

How about playing games (running programs) from more than one vendor or allowing open source gaming?

Re:it's amazing consumers (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844469)

Buy a PS3 and install Linux or an Xbox360 and invest $100 a year to get access to XNA. Its certainly still far away from the freedom you have on a PC, but thinks are better now then they where a few years ago.

Re:it's amazing consumers (1)

pragma_x (644215) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843667)

That's a good point.

20+ years ago the C64, to many, was a video game console that happened to have a built-in BASIC interpreter, printer support, and decent office software - not that you'd need any of that stuff, but it sure helped dad open up his wallet.

Re:it's amazing consumers (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844373)

20+ years ago the C64, to many, was a video game console

This is a terminally backwards assessment of what happened. The C64 was very much a home computer that happened to play Video Games. (And play them well, mind you.) Its only real nod to home console design was the cartridge port, something which practically none of the games used.

Consider for a moment: The C64 was a descendant of the Commodore PET. Would anyone think of the Commodore PET as a video game console? Not very likely, eh?

The reason why the C64 was so good at games was because Trameil felt that his computers weren't flashy enough to keep the market's interest. With Atari also making home computers, he felt that the best way to "win" the computer war (Jack was all about "business is war") was to make his machines the best darn video-gaming computers on the market. Thus starting with the VIC-20, Commodore began making computers with sophisticated graphics and sound capabilities. With the memory boost to 64K and the addition of a high-res, 40 character text mode, the Commodore 64 managed to become both an incredible home machine for "serious" BASIC application and an unsurpassed system for "fun" game programs.

Here, you might find this of interest:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUEI7mm8M7Q [youtube.com]

Re:it's amazing consumers (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843509)

You have a point on the issue of it being crippled. But they have a point regarding preventing cheating. And anyone, no one is forcing anyone to buy a console. When I bought my Xbox I bought it specifically because I could hack it and do as I like. For instance I can copy games (which I have purchased, naturally) to the hard disk of the system so that not only do I not have to wait for the disc to load but I don't need to find the disc to play, either. Grand Theft Auto SA is much more enjoyable when you don't get big black blocks saying "LOADING PLEASE WAIT" in the middle of a fucking race. If I couldn't do all that jazz I wouldn't have bought an Xbox and Microsoft's success in locking down the Xbox 360 would prevent me from buying one if I had any intention of doing so. I don't, however :P

Thinking of upgrading BUT (4, Interesting)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843387)

Vista and DX10 pose a problem for me. Should I upgrade to Vista and buy an expensive DX10 graphics card even though gaming studios won't enthusiastically support DX10 for a while? Or should I buy a solid DX9 graphics card (saving me money), keep XP, and hope studios still support DX9 over the life of my new system? Or do I continue using my aging system while waiting for the PC gaming landscape to pan out? Perhaps I'm missing something here, but I imagine many people face the same conundrum.

What serious PC gamer cares about Games for Windows? Same goes for MS's upcoming "Xbox Live Only for Windows" online gaming service. We already have Steam and free online games sans MS's bullshit and complications. Publicly, MS is trying to make PC's more "gaming-friendly," but I think we all know what they're really up to: making PCs into an extension of their Xbox franchise. But I don't think the devoted PC gamers will buy into it...at least I hope not.

PC gaming's biggest issue will remain piracy. I used to pirate games left and right until I stepped back and realized what I was doing to the industry. Now I buy all of my games. While I'm certainly not a pirate witchhunter, I fear that continued piracy will force developers to release PC games crossplatform. And that basically means dumbing-down PC games so they work with the consoles.

PS: "Rebirth" suggests PC gaming died. Contrary to the flood of half-assed alarmist articles we see, this was never the case.

Re:Thinking of upgrading BUT (1)

dustin_c1 (153078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843901)

Or should I buy a solid DX9 graphics card
Since the availability of the Nvidia 8800 GTS 320, there is no such thing as a solid DX9 card. Buy a DX10 card. They do DX9 games faster than any DX9 cards available at each price point. Nvidia's DX10 line starts at under $100. You don't need DX10 to use a DX10 compatible card. Also, games that support DX10 will also support DX9 for a long time because it will take years before developers are confident that almost all of their potential customers have DX10 compatible cards, let alone Vista.

Well, I don't like it either... (1)

zzo38 (1092117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843471)

I don't like it either, just people are going to buy Windows, or a X-Box, and people will have to pay licensing costs and other stuff. Also, when the old version of Windows expires, people will have to purchase new one. And the new one is DRM. WiiConnect24 is supposed to let you update game content online as well, but really it messes up things. I am starting to make my own game console system, and it is not going to have such problems, because it will be Open-Source Linux based, and if somebody wants to write software to update game content by Internet (whether for free or whatever) then no problem! You could also write software for NES/Famicom or whatever (and you could put the file on a DVD,USB,Internet,etc.) , and be able to run on many different kind of systems.

Re:Well, I don't like it either... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18844671)

Don't bother. Just buy a GP2X [gp2x.com] It already does most of that, and it's portable!

I disagree (-1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18843843)

Actually, it's funny this article came up, because I just swore off PC games this weekend. I bought a brand new laptop last year so I figured that of course this game will work on a one year old PC. I bought Command and Conquer 3 last week, tried to install it, and it bombed on start. Apparently, my video card wasn't up to snuff. The thing is the box said it works with video card AGPblahblah123 and PDQblahblah456. I had an "Intel" which wasn't on the list anywhere. It just wasn't worth the headache to investigate. The game went back to the store, where I exchanged it for a two PS2 games that worked with no problem, whatsoever. PC games are a royal pain in the ass and aren't worth the hassle (or the expense of a new video card every 6 months).

Re:I disagree (2, Informative)

AntiNazi (844331) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844289)

You are honestly going to blame PC games for you buying a low end integrated graphics solution and then trying to do something it wasn't made to do?

Would you also be upset if your Honda Civic couldn't pull an industrial sized trailor back and forth across the continental US every day?

Re:I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18844389)

I would say it is slightly expected with a Intel graphics card. While Intel graphics cards are great (especially if you run non-Windows OS as well), if you want to play games, you should get a laptop with a ATI or NVIDIA card, as every game company seems to base development on these two.

My 4 year old laptop (Dell Inspiron 8600) plays Tiberium Wars fine with its GeForce 5650 Go (with very low graphics settings though)

Also, my box states:
"Graphic card: AGP/PCI
  XP: 64 MB
  Vista: 128 MB

Supported chipsets:
  XP: NVIDIA GeForce4+ (GeForce4 MX-series not supported); ATI Radeon 8500+ (Radeon 9200 and 9250 PCI not supported).
  Vista: NVIDIA GeForce 6100+; ATI Radeon 9500+.
Laptop versions of these chipsets may work, but are not supported."

So, unless your box is different, they did warn you.

Re:I disagree (2, Informative)

sholden (12227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844439)

The website says:

Video: GeForce4, ATI Radeon 8500 or greater (ATI Radeon 9200 and 9250 PCI, NVIDIA Geforce 4 MX cards not supported.). Windows Vista - NVIDIA GeForce 6100 or ATI Radeon 9500 or greater. Labtop versions of these chipsets may work but are not supported.

Which seems straight forward enough; your graphics card needs to have Radeon written on it with a number 8500+ except for 9200 and 9250. Or GeForce written on it with a number 4+ except for ones with "4 MX" on them.

Of course if you don't know what the damn models and numbers are it'll be confusing, but on my two machines one says in the Display Control Panel:

GeForce 7600 GT
Intel 82852/82855 GM/GME

I'd take a punt that the first will work (7 is greater than 4) and the second won't - since it doesn't say Radeon or GeForce. The last sentence (with the typo fixed) would imply to me it's unlikely to work on a laptop built today let alone a year ago.

Also if you think you need a new video card every 6 months, why would you think a year old laptop would have enough video grunt for a new game?

Complaining that oranges taste like oranges. (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844673)

Wait ... let me get this straight. You bought a system that is not meant for gaming and then you complain that it's insufficient for gaming! WTF did you expect? And to top THAT off, you then bitch about PC gaming with probably the broadest brush imaginable.

With the exception of high-end laptops, almost every laptop out there uses integrated video that steals - sorry, shares - memory from RAM, which automatically makes it slower than video cards with their own RAM and makes it far inferior when compared to "regular" video cards. If you want to play video games on a laptop, you can't go into Best Buy or Staples and buy one off the shelf unless the extent of your gaming stops at Bejewelled or Zuma. (Yes, I'm being facetious, but not by much.)

Please, by all means leave the PC gaming scene. You clearly have expectations that prove that your really don't have a clue about PC gaming. What's next? Buying a Geo Metro (or equivalent micro-car) and then complaining that it can't speed past a Lamborghini on the Autobahn?

Re:Complaining that oranges taste like oranges. (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18845141)

It's absurd that a $50 video game takes more computing power than my $10,000 point of sale system, or my $500 accounting package. It's absurd that you have to buy a $2000 PC to play $50 games, when a $200 console will work even better. To anybody who isn't a 12 year old with an unlimited allowance and tons of free time, it doesn't make any reasonable sense that you have to have a souped up PC to play a regular, mass-market game sold at Wal-Mart.

Re:Complaining that oranges taste like oranges. (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18845339)

What the hell kind of PC are you looking at? Oooohhhh... The one that looks like an alien? Puh-leaze...

I'm building the specs for a new gaming rig, and a system with 320 GB HD, 2 GB RAM, Athlon X2 6000, and GeForce 7950GT (or a low-end 8000 series) STILL comes in less than $900! And being a PC it clearly does a hell of a lot more than playing games, downloading content, or running a Second Life wannabe. I have no idea what the hell you're buying or what you think constitutes a gaming rig, but you obviously have never built one yourself and are "wow"ed by marketing and oh-so-cool PC cases.

Re:I disagree (1)

Murrdox (601048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18845157)

Well, you're an excellent example of why PC games are selling less I suppose.

I'm a very knowledgeable PC person. I'm a geek.

I could tell you, without even KNOWING what laptop that you bought... that there is no way you will get Command and Conquer 3 to run on your laptop. I haven't even PLAYED Command and Conquer 3, but graphically, I know what it does.

You, as the typical PC consumer, don't realize this. You end up getting burned as a result.

That is kinda sad. Granted, I can think of a LOT of games that you CAN play on that laptop of yours. However, nowadays I'm sorry to say that even if you buy your laptop from Alienware, you aren't going to get a laptop that can play the "best" games. Gaming laptops are dying right now, until video card technology miniaturizes some more. Right now, your average laptop just has no hope of competing with what the latest desktop is capable of.

Play console games and be happy my friend... or buy games for that laptop that have been out for 2-3 years already, and you should be happy as well.

Games for Vista (1)

flaknugget (938238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844377)

PC gaming will be as strong as it has been for the past couple of years, which is to say potentially profitable yet competitive. With a larger market for indy-developers and innovation compared with consoles.

But these new-fangled vista-only/DX10 games are beginning to worry me.

Fortunately it's only Microsoft that is pushing that initiative, and MS, historically, has a relatively poor stable of games to make their push with.

So the bright side is the only games forcing a Vista upgrade are/will be available on the 360. And a 360 could be had for pretty much the same cost as Vista Ultimate.

Did they talk to anyone in the industry? (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844585)

This is like going to Las Vegas, hearing all about the great and sexy wanda in big and bright lights, paying the 200 bucks to meet her, and getting a ugly whore instead.

Ok not exactly like that, Wanda is a lot more attractive than Vista is right now.

That's not what I wanted to bring up but that's the sum of the article. You get the "It's going to be big. It's going to be huge" syndrome that you always hear in hype pieces, but you're inevitably going to be disappointed if you buy in.

Skimming the names in the article, I see mention of Microsoft, and Dell. Wow I wonder if they are going to say PC gaming is going to be big. One is selling their new PC OS, and the other sells PCs. Then you have ID who sounds like they aren't major supporters of PCs, but look at their track record, if anything they shun the consoles (Doom 3 for the Xbox was a horrid port).

But the actual industry basically disagrees. Publishers see lack luster sales on the PC, a game that earns 90+ percent reviews sells about a third or a fourth as much as a 360 game that gets 80-90 percent reviews. That means an average game on the 360 will likely outsell the PC. It's not a shock we are seeing RTSes running for the 360. If EA can sell anything in that market for Command and Conquer 3, expect more RTSes to run the same way.

Attribute the lower sales for the PC to what you want (people not wanting to upkeep PCs, piracy, crappier games, driver issues, having to deal with Copy protection). But the off line PC market is dying. However there are a couple bright areas, MMOs will continue to shine, anything service driven, and games like Flight Simulation will continue to shine. But they are a very dim light compared to 10 years ago when everything was bigger better and badder on the PC.

There will always be PC games, people who can't buy into the consoles 20K a dev kit demands, will always make games on the PC, but that doesn't mean EA and others will continue to support it forever.

Note this is the industry vision, it's not some analyst talk, or someone trying to sell some goods, which is why you likely won't hear it in the newspaper but we can dispute the reasons for it but the fact is if the publishers see lower return on investments, why would they even support it?

Never ceases to amaze me... (3, Insightful)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18844891)

It happens every five years or so. It's almost like clockwork. A new generation of console systems will come out, and suddenly everybody will be predicting the demise of the PC. And sure, PC game sales and development will lag for a bit, then it'll bounce back. Now I know for a fact this has been going on since the 80's when the original Nintendo generation was supposedly going to spell the demise of the PC for gaming, and of course it never did. Why do people keep acting surprised?
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